Day 13 – Miyojima

The next morning, after a wonderful, very Japanese-style breakfast, we went out for a morning tour of the island.  It was raining, but that didn’t stop us.

Tori on a rainy morning
Tori on a rainy morning

There are also quite a few “wild” deer no the island.  They are quite friendly to tourists, looking for handouts, but some of them also survive by eating as they would in the wild.

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There is so much to see on the island. The starting point for our morning tour was the Itsukushima Shrine.  This is the buddhist shrine that is responsible for erecting and maintaining the great Tori, and it is also painted in the same Shinto red colors.  It is quite beautiful to walk through.

Itsukushima Shrine
Itsukushima Shrine
A side view of Itsukushima Shrine
A side view of Itsukushima Shrine at low tide.  At high tide, it appears to float on the water.

After Itsukushima Shrine, we hiked up and around the hillside and came upon the Daisho-in Temple.  Not that many people were there, as it’s a steep climb up from the waterfront, but it was one of the most beautiful and moving buddhist shrines we visited in Japan.  It has many buildings and it is the main temple of Shingon Buddhist school of Omuro.  It feels like a working temple, if that makes sense.

Daisho-in Temple
Daisho-in Temple
Grounds of Daisho-in
Grounds of Daisho-in
One of the guardians of Daisho-in Temple
One of the guardians of Daisho-in Temple
Cyrano?
Cyrano?

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We checked out of our hotel, raced for the ferry, where even though we had purchased a round-trip ticket the night before, we ended up buying another ticket each, because they have two ferry lines, and the one that was soon enough for us to make our train was the “other” ferry company.

This was our longest travel day.  We took the train up to Hiroshima, then to Shin-Osaka, Nagoya and finally to Takayama.

Took a taxi to our Ryokan, the Oyado Yamakyu ,which was just below one of the local shrines.

Our Ryokan in Takayama
Our Ryokan in Takayama

They served dinner in a large space.  It was very good, but not as fancy as some of our previous ryokans. We also took advantage of their hot spring baths, which were just fine, and completely empty.  The front desk guy took a nice picture of Ann and I for their Facebook page.

Jim and Ann in Takayama
Jim and Ann in Takayama

After dinner, we wandered around, found a bookstore still open that had a lot of children’s books in Japanese, including one that featured an anatomically correct cat.  We bought a few books for the grandchildren.

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